Cold Calling Scripts for Effective Outreach

In the dynamic landscape of inside sales, where every customer interaction counts, mastering the art of cold calling is paramount. At the heart of this skill lies cold calling scripts – meticulously crafted roadmap that guides conversations towards success. Whether you’re a seasoned sales professional or a newbie, a cold calling script serves as an invaluable companion, offering structure, confidence, and a strategic edge in navigating the unpredictable terrain of customer engagement. In this article, we discuss how a cold call script helps streamline communication, empower sales teams, and ultimately drives results. Join us as we uncover the secrets to crafting compelling cold call scripts that captivate, resonate, and convert prospects into loyal customers.

Crafting dynamic call scripts involves two primary elements: organizing the conversation into branching paths using decision trees and integrating call scripts at each stage. Interactive decision trees assist agents in navigating different scenarios, enabling them to anticipate objections, customize responses, and drive conversations towards successful results. Decision tree maker tools help sales enablement professionals in creating effective cold calling scripts. Developing an impactful call center script for your business becomes straightforward when you empathize with the customer.

1. Imagine yourself on the receiving end of a phone call

Picture yourself as the manager of a sizable call center. You’re currently occupied with preparing an important PowerPoint presentation for an operational review with your boss.

A representative from an unfamiliar software company contacts you. You pick up the phone. Given your polite nature, you listen to him for a few seconds while your brain searches for the right excuse to get off the call and back to the important task at hand. “I have to finish up this presentation slide and get the hell out of the office!”, you say to yourself.

Hi, This is John Doe from XYZ Corporation, How are you doing today? Continue being polite and just say “Good“, you tell yourself. Keep it short, let him quickly say his two sentences and I can get him off the phone.

I see that you went to Ohio State! How about them Buckeyes?” He throws a curveball at you! Your mind starts racing, “I graduated 15 years ago and didn’t care much about football even back then. What the hell does he want from me?” You are borderline irritated. Between the intro and his lame attempt at building rapport so soon, he had used up most of his “polite quota”. You take a deep breath and say, “I am busy right now, what is this call about?” your tone devoid of any enthusiasm.

Trust me, I am busy too, so if you give me 45 seconds I will make it worth your while. Sounds good?” he has the audacity to say. “No!“, and you hang up. “Damn these idiots!” you mutter to yourself and try to get back to what you were doing.

This was definitely an “impactful” cold call, but not with the impact the caller would have liked to have!

Yonyx Interactive Decision Tree map view

2. So, What went wrong?

The representative followed a script created by his sales enablement specialist, based on the cold calling tips below:

  1. Introduce yourself
  2. Build rapport with customer.
  3. Respect your own time.

Although the approach in this sequence might have been effective when reaching out to retirees to go over Medicare insurance supplement plans, it clearly didn’t serve well with our busy call center director.

2.1 Bake the Who and When in your call script

When creating a cold calling script to train your SDRs and BDRs, you need to empathize with the Who and When. Who represents the buyer’s persona, or the decision maker. When pertains to the specific time of day (such as working hours, after-hours, lunchtime, or morning) when the call is made. If you are calling a busy executive during office hours, you better not waste the initial few seconds of the call, building rapport. Here is an alternate flow for this call.

2.2 Start with Problem Statement:

Hi, This is John Doe from Yonyx. We offer a solution for call centers facing staff attrition, training and quality control problems. Does that sound like you?

With this opening the SDR started by relaying the problem that any call center director might appreciate. You respond with, “Yeah, sure, we have attrition and training challenges – all call centers do. How do you address this issue?

2.3 Next comes the Elevator Pitch:

Our decision tree platform allows you to create process maps. Your Agents now follow these maps interactively, from within your CRM system. This step by step call scripting helps ensure consistency of performance across your team of Agents. Can you tell me if your call center mostly focuses on customer service or if it’s more geared towards inside sales?

Depending on the response to this question, the SDR can go over the corresponding benefits statement. If you (the call center director) say, “We primarily are an outbound sales team focused on lead generation for the insurance industry.

2.4 Benefits Statement – Sales Teams:

Very good. Thank you for sharing that. Along with attrition, I am sure it must bother you that there is a huge performance gap between the top 25% and bottom 25% of your sales team. Is that right?

You very likely respond with a resounding “Yes“.

Yonyx Interactive decision tree platform is used to create cold calling scripts that read/write data from CRM systems.

Agent continues, I figured as much. Once you’ve got our interactive decision tree solution up and running, you’ll notice a big boost in your sales team’s performance. They’ll be pitching your product or service consistently, tackling customer objections using language that has worked for others in the team! Plus, you’ll have built-in analytics to help fine-tune your sales processes continuously“.

How about I set you up for a demo of this platform along with your team?” As a call center director, you are definitely interested in learning more, but you are also very busy, “Your solution seems intriguing, but I will be honest with you, I don’t have the bandwidth to take on another project right now.

That makes perfect sense! After all, the SDR contacted you out of the blue. It’s possible he touched upon a sensitive nerve within your organization, but you cannot be expected to turn everything upside down to accommodate another new project right away.

Let us continue our hypothetical customer conversation. Depending on whether we are nearing the end of a quarter or are in the midst of one, the agent can select from two scripts below for their response.

2.5 Closing Script – Inside Sales:

2.5.1 Approaching end of quarter: “I understand where you’re coming from. We’re approaching the end of the quarter, and you’re probably gearing up to evaluate your team’s performance, just like many other call center directors. Wouldn’t it be great to discuss ways to enhance performance alongside? If you and your team leads could find an hour to chat, I’m confident you’ll leave with a bunch of great ideas. Our expert will not only explain our platform’s capabilities but also share real-world examples of how it’s making a difference in your industry.

2.5.2 Middle of quarter: “I understand where you’re coming from. I’m sure you still remember the performance metrics from your last quarterly review, right?” May be you even talked about looking into ways to improve these? If you and your team leads could find an hour to chat, I’m confident you’ll leave with a bunch of great ideas for boosting your team’s performance metrics. Our expert will not only explain our platform’s capabilities but also share real-world examples of how it’s making a difference in your industry.

While there’s no call script that can ensure a 100% success rate, you can see yourself now eager to arrange the meeting. Remember that just a few minutes ago, you were searching for excuses to end the call, but now you’re genuinely interested in discovering the solution. 

Now let us consider if you (the call center director) said something like, “We primarily are a technical support call center focused on helping customers resolve technical issues with our telecom service.

2.6 Benefits Statement – Technical Support:

Very good. Thank you for sharing that. Troubleshooting issues is one of the hardest skills to teach call center Agents. It is also very hard to retain and reuse the knowledge that Agents learn during such training. Therefore tenured Agents far outperform newbies when you compare their first call resolution rates or their customer satisfaction scores. Has that been your experience as well?

You (the call center director) very likely respond with a resounding “Yes“.

Agent continues, “I figured as much. After implementing our interactive decision tree solution, you should expect to see a significant improvement in performance across your technical support engineers. Your Agents will follow consistent troubleshooting methodology. Each customer interaction will start with customer’s symptom, followed by a sequence of questions where each subsequent question depends on the answer to the previous question. This process will help them get to the underlying root cause and suggest a corresponding solution.

How about I set you up for a demo of this platform along with your team?”

2.7 Closing Script – Technical Support:

Once again, as a call center director, you are definitely interested in learning more, but you are also very busy, “Your solution seems intriguing, but I will be honest with you, I don’t have the bandwidth to take on another project right now.

Even if you are unable to start a new project at this time, the demo will be highly educational and will broaden your perspective on how one can improve customer satisfaction while reducing average handle time. Any particular time slots that work for you next week?

You can see the power of cold calling scripts now! Now let us discuss what is important in choosing a platform to develop such scripts.

3. Cold Calling Scripts Empower Reps with Language that Sells

Such scripts guide cold callers in following structured customer interaction pathways that covers initial greetings, product pitch, handling objections, and closing sales. Such scripts should be tailored to each customer to provide pertinent information, ask relevant questions, capture data, and offer products suited for the customer.

To attain this degree of personalized interaction, Authors use placeholders in call scripts contained in individual steps of an interactive decision tree. These placeholders are objects that can store values. Placeholder values are updated from data capture forms, CRM data or values calculated from such data. Instead of static paragraphs in a Word document, these dynamic scripts are accessed by call center agents interactively – either stand-alone, or embedded within CRM systems like SalesforceZOHOZendesk etc

There are many examples of decision trees  across various industries. During a customer call, the script presented to the Agent depends on the tree branch selected at each step. Certain decision tree steps can be bypassed by using logic conditions based on placeholder values.

To achieve successful sales outcomes, it is vital to prevent any missteps during interactions with customers. Providing all SDRs with scripts empowers them to employ techniques that have proven successful already. This ensures that all your call center agents approach potential customers with confidence, using the right words and strategies to navigate customer interactions skillfully and drive positive results in closing sales on the phone.

{{ph:mortgage-cust-name}}, I’d be happy to schedule a time to call you back, but I don’t want to bother you if you’re not interested. Let me ask you a quick question and please give me an honest answer:

If 15 minutes of your time with my loan officer could save you a few hundred dollars every month, can you imagine how you would use this savings month after month? Or would you still look back six months later and say I wish I had not wasted those 15 minutes.

Cold calling scripts should include discovery questions. Yonyx platform enables subject matter experts to create a sequence of cold calling scripts that are embedded in individual steps of an interactive decision tree.

4. Cold Calling Scripts should Include the Best Discovery Questions

Its not easy for reps to to carry on a conversation with the customer without some help. Discovery calls absolutely require such scripted questions:

  • What are your top priorities or goals for [quarter/year]?
  • How are you currently handling [specific task or problem]?
  • What features or aspects of a product are most important to you?
  • Have you tried any similar solutions in the past? 

Discovery questions provide an important SDR tool, when presented at the right step in the customer interaction pathway. Discovery questions can really help SDRs build and maintain rapport with a customer. Building rapport takes them halfway through closing a sale.

5. Find What Works & Scale It Across Team

Yonyx Cumulative Traversal Analytics provides Authors with a visual representation of the number of traversals in each possible direction, at every step of the decision tree.

As a result, if an introduction script leads to a significant number of traversals towards “Not Interested,” the Author can improve the script. Using Differential Traversal Analytics, the Author can now compare data across two date ranges simultaneously to determine the impact of the script change.

The words we use wield a powerful influence on our interactions with others and the choices they make. They possess the ability to ignite a purchase or elicit indifference. Leveraging cumulative traversal analytics data empowers Authors to identify the most impactful words and apply them systematically across your sales team for better results.

6. Crowdsource Feedback

While engaging with customers, sales development representatives should be able to provide feedback to the Author from any step of the decision tree. This feedback can range from identifying mistakes in the scripts, to offering insights on language that resonates well with customers. Authors can use such feedback to constantly improve the call scripts.

“Give me a moment while I get a Loan officer on the line”, instead of “When might be a good time to speak to a Loan officer today?”

Authors have access to a comprehensive transcript of the path taken by a sales development representative, which includes the duration of time spent at each step during the traversal. This valuable information helps Authors identify the specific step of the decision tree along with the context in which the representative offered feedback to Author.

Large call centers with thousands of Agents providing such feedback benefit from a built in ticketing system that helps Authors keep track of all feedback received. Authors can mark each feedback task as resolved after they have updated the corresponding call script.

7. Read/Write CRM Data

Placeholders are objects that can store values. Through a simple API call, multiple fields of CRM data can update corresponding Yonyx Placeholders.

This data may include Personal Information like customer name, city or state of residence etc., Product purchase information like date of purchase, model number etc., Behavioral data like purchase history or demographics information.

Due to this functionality, sales development representatives can access and utilize a wide range of customer data within the cold calling scripts, enhancing their ability to personalize interactions, provide relevant recommendations, and deliver a more tailored and effective sales experience.

Similarly, data captured in forms embedded within individual steps of the decision tree is also written back to the CRM, upon conclusion of customer interaction.

Yonyx Cold Calling Scripts are personalized at every step by calculating figures using Yonyx Math functions.

8. Use Math Functions in To Personalize Interactions

A call script does not merely contain words spoken the same way to every customer with just the customer name getting replaced each time. Such scripts may contain numbers, pricing, tax or cost information that may have to be computed on the fly.

“I see that you have crossed the magic 60 year mark. Congratulations! I am sure you must be thinking of retirement. I wanted to schedule a call with our investment advisor to work some numbers with you. Does that sound good?

Just give me a rough idea, what do you think is your monthly cost of living these days? [Capture monthly living cost – to derive initial investment amount required for retirement]

Here is another example of using placeholder functions in real estate:

I recently sold a property down the street from you for $XXX at 123 Beautiful Street. That’s $YYY more than the average sales price in your area, which means buyers are really wanting to buy in ABC Community.

Yonyx Platform enables Authors of cold calling scripts to attach scores with each answer to a qualification question. The total score of the path traversed while interacting with a customer helps qualify the lead into a Hot, Warm or Cold lead.

9. Classify Hot, Warm or Cold Leads

While cold calling scripts are used to generate leads, you don’t want to generate bad leads. With the Yonyx platform, Authors can assign a score to each user response that follows the script in a guidance step. As the customer interacts with the sales development representative, a cumulative path score is calculated. This score plays a crucial role in determining if this lead is qualified.

The process works as follows: When a sales development representative poses questions and the customer responds to them, the score associated with the chosen answer is added to the path score. As the conversation progresses, the scores of the customer interaction path is accumulated. This path score serves as a quantitative representation of the lead’s engagement and interest level.

By establishing a predetermined threshold or range of scores, the Yonyx platform can then classify the lead into different qualification categories. For example, leads with scores surpassing a certain threshold might be labeled as “hot leads” and prioritized for immediate follow-up by the sales team, while leads with lower scores may be deemed as “warm leads” or “potential prospects” that require further nurturing.

10. Read/Write Data from Multiple Enterprise Apps

A business process followed by a call center agent may require looking up or updating information across multiple enterprise and 3rd party applications. For instance a mortgage approval process may involve multiple steps.  Some of these steps may be performed by the call center agent, while others may simply involve making API calls from individual steps of the decision tree.

Yonyx platform enables Authors to configure such API calls to public or private APIs using configurable http requests embedded in individual steps of a decision tree based call script. Data can be passed to such 3rd party apps via Yonyx Placeholders and read back from such apps into corresponding Yonyx Placeholders.

11. Improve Consistency Across Sales Team

Image by fabrikasimf on Freepik

Through our interpersonal interactions, we develop a range of skills that effectively influence others to believe in our words and make a purchase when we suggest a product. These can arise from our ability to connect with others on a deeper level or from the use of specific words in our speech that play a crucial role in sealing the deal.
Rather than depending on your hundreds of sales development representatives to individually discover successful techniques, you have the opportunity to extract the most effective language elements used by your top-performing SDRs and distribute them across your entire team. This way, everyone can benefit from the best practices and improve their performance collectively.

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